WASHINGTON — The real estate agent dubbed "Robin HUD" for claiming she gave poor people $5.5 million she stole from the Housing and Urban Development Department told Congress today she is a "sinner" who wants to repay it all.
"I in no way justify what I have done as being anything less than sin," said Marilyn Harrell of Temple Hills, Md., in a statement at a hearing of the House Government Operations Subcommittee on Employment and Housing. "I do, regardless of where my life takes me from here, intend to repay in full all monies taken," she added, noting that "in early December, 1988, I freely gave to HUD properties with an approximate equity of $450,000."
Harrell, who has admitted to investigators that she did not forward at least $5.5 million to the federal housing agency, repeated claims that she donated much of the money to charitable projects to provide housing for the poor.
"I would be surprised if this would be the end of the revelations," subcomittee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo) said after her testimony. Last week four senior HUD aides were placed on leave after embezzlement charges surfaced.